GUEST COLUMN: Harvard Law School Submissions, Weeks 4-5 | Opinion


Editor’s Note: Ryan Miller is a 2017 graduate and former valedictorian of Apalachee High School. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and history and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia in December 2020 and graduated summa cum laude with a master’s degree in public administration from UGA in May. He was accepted to Harvard Law School and recently started studying there. He documents this experience for the Barrow News-Journal.


• Misdemeanors: intention transferred. If A intends to hurt B, but instead injures C, A is responsible for the harm done to C, such as hitting the wrong person in a bar fight.

• Ownership: Public housing. Owners of private property intended for public use (such as trains, restaurants or swimming pools) are limited in their right to exclude individuals.

• “Kitchen Confidential”: At the request of our Section Head, former students spoke to us in the form of a webinar about strategies for our courses.

• Lesson for the day: Courts should direct their opinions to the lower courts, the general public and the losing party, so that all parties accept the rule of law.

• Misdemeanors: assault. Civil assault claims require proof of an act that caused the apprehension of impending contact to a reasonable standard.

• Ownership: unwanted possession. If the elements of adverse possession are encountered for a designated period of time, ownership passes to them by the beneficial owner.

• Meeting on Holmes Field: Holmes Field is a long expanse of grass, picnic tables and trees in front of Langdell Hall (the library), and it is a great place for outdoor activities.

• Lesson for the day: A wide variety of properties exist in the United States, and each of them is governed by different rights and duties under the law.

• Civil procedure: Jurisdiction of diversity. Federal courts have jurisdiction when a civil action exceeds $ 75,000 and has a full diversity of plaintiffs and defendants.

• Misdemeanors: False imprisonment. A civil action for false imprisonment requires an actor to detain a victim, without the victim’s consent and without the rule of law.

• Contracts: Promissory Estoppel. Promises can be fulfilled under this doctrine if the promise causes the lessee to change their behavior in a meaningful way based on that promise.

• Lesson for the day: Some lawyers prefer state courts to federal courts, or vice versa, depending on the perceived advantages of certain controversies.

• Yom Kippur: This Jewish holy day concludes the great holy days that begin with Rosh Hashanah, and prayer and one-day fasts are common methods of observing it.

• Contracts: Rule of material advantage. If you make a promise to pay someone after benefiting from their action, you may be required to pay that promise under this rule.

• Legal research and writing: Peer editing. Reading your classmates’ work allows you to provide useful feedback and reflect on your own writing strengths and weaknesses.

• SECOMM: Section committee. A group of us come together and plan events and generate resources to enhance the HLS experience inside and outside the classroom.

• Lesson for the day: Starting from scratch allows you to practice whole new ways of working, which may cause you to re-evaluate the way you did before.

• Civil procedure: Federal jurisdiction over matters. Federal courts have jurisdiction over claims that necessarily involve federal disputes that are substantive to national law.

• Contracts: Offer. Offers indicate a willingness to enter into a deal which will be made binding upon acceptance by the other person.

• Constitution Day: The University of Georgia hosted Professor Gordon-Reed to discuss the document and how subsequent events, namely Juneteenth, contributed to the realization of the ideals.

• Lesson for the day: To realize our core ideals, we must recognize our past and commit to improving the present for our collective future.


• Crimes: Consent (as a defense). Defendants can counter intentional tort charges such as assault and battery by proving that the plaintiffs consented to the contact deemed harmful or offensive.

• Property: Easements. Easements represent limited but protected rights that non-owners have over the property of others, such as the right to use a common driveway or fodder in a forest.

• Reading group: Ex Machina and Personality. What makes someone a person? A consciousness ? The ability to feel pain? Have goals? Relationships? A chance to develop?

• Lesson for the day: The way one chooses to phrase the question in an argument can make or break the way it is received by others, especially when it comes to legal cases before a jury.

• Crimes: self-defense. Another defense against intentional tort claims is that individuals can use reasonable force to protect themselves from a reasonably perceived threat.

• Property: Nuisance. You may have a nuisance claim if a neighbor uses their land in a manner that causes substantial and unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of your land.

• Dean’s Welcome Reception: The Dean of the Law School welcomes each of the 1L Sections outside so that we can meet our professors and administrators in an informal and social setting.

• Lesson for the day: Juries make decisions on factual disputes – what story to believe – while judges make decisions on legal disputes – what law to apply.

• Civil Procedure: Additional Jurisdiction. Certain state claims may be heard in federal courts alongside federal claims if both types of claims arise from the same central facts.

• Crime: Intentional infliction of emotional distress. Extreme and scandalous conduct that causes serious emotional harm to an individual would constitute civil remedies through IIED.

• Contracts: Acceptance. Contracts are not binding until the offer is accepted, and acceptance may occur by written promise or specified performance.

• Equal Democracy Project: introductory meeting. EDP ​​is a non-partisan student organization focused on promoting political participation and access to voting resources.

• Lesson for the day: Each generation is different as each generation has had to deal with different global trends and events during their formative years.

• Civil procedure: Personal jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction is about which state within a system, such as a federal court in Georgia or Alabama, should hear a case.

• Section meeting: A Harvard professor spoke to us about the importance of injecting humanity into the criminal justice system and her own experience as a public defender.

• Contracts: Revocation. You can revoke your offer after a reasonable time if there has been no acceptance, but an acceptance cannot be revoked in the same way.

• Legal research and writing: Feedback. While it can be overwhelming to receive your document with many comments, writing is a process and drafting is a step along the way.

• Legal aid program in prison: introductory meeting. PLAP is a student practice organization that represents Massachusetts incarcerated people in disciplinary hearings.

• Lesson for the day: Remember that the criminal justice system sees most people only in their worst days, so we can’t forget to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

• Civil Procedure: General Jurisdiction In Personam. Companies are subject to personal jurisdiction over any action brought in their place of incorporation or principal establishment.

• Contracts: Counter-offers. Usually, when an offer is “accepted” by asking for different terms, the courts will consider this to be a rejection of the first offer and the introduction of a new counter-offer.

• Education advocates: introduction. This student organization focuses on informing future lawyers about current issues in education law and policy by organizing events and inviting speakers.

• Journal on legislation: Subcite. HLS has 17 student-run journals, including JOL, which review and publish relevant literature on particular topics through the work of current law students.

• Lesson for the day: Be realistic when looking for your “perfect” job: consider your potential needs and current interests rather than the supposed prestige of the position.


Nancy I. Romero

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